Saturday, December 31, 2016

From Sketch to Sculpt... and beyond

Several years ago, at our last Games Day, I sketched out this design for a scratch sculpted Heirotitan.   GW hadn't made one at the time (and they never will at this point), so I thought it would be very fun to sculpt my own!

I used a variety of materials to create the sculpt, including the tin foil armature!  Most of the sculpt is made from Apoxy Sculpt, which I really love.  It has all the good properties of green stuf, but none of the bad!  The same for a Miliput comparison.

Here's the original post with more images:

Here's part two of the sculpting process:

I really enjoyed painting this as well... here's a post:

He also had a buddy... a scratch sculpted Colossus!

The fluorescent paints were added to many of the surfaces in order to make the colors shimmer.  Since they entire army was tainted by Tzeentch, that was very important.

This might give you an idea of how massive he was.  I wish that I could have put him on a bigger base, but that's the legal size!

One final look at the Heirotitan.  He was definitely a favorite of the army, and a centerpiece of the story and the display board.

He's also here:

Friday, December 30, 2016

Saurus Shield

This is another trip in the way back machine, looking at some of the very first miniatures that were painted with the Shaded Basecoat technique.  In fact, this is one of the first units where "primer painting" was tested.

Not only were all these methods designed to save time, they were also meant to strengthen the coat of paint itself.  If your first several layers of "paint" is actually primer, you have some very solidly painted figures!

There was a bit of an update on these, as I used one of the Green Stuff World Mayan ruins bases for him.  I have seen them many times in their ranked up incarnations, so it was fun to see them in a more generic basing shape (or Age of Sigmar).

You can see the original Shaded basecoat article here... it will all look very familiar!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

A Crushing Success

As promised, the follow up article on the winter Germans, this time applying snow.  The "setup" for this part of the process was done with those warmer, darker glazes in the last post.

Before I applied the snow, I wanted to add some winter grass and shrubbery.  I have a few types here from Army Painter and Kings Hobbies and Games

These add a lot of extra dimension to each figure, especially when they are strategically placed to maximize the action of a particular pose.

When you choose the tufts, the size of each one and the number you place can make a big difference.  It is best to place different sizes, and not "bracket" your figure between two equal tufts!

You can see what a big difference the placement makes!  It already looks like winter is setting in...

I don't always set the tufts right at the feet of the figures.  A mix of placements is best, with a few having no tufts at their feet.

We are now ready for some snow!  I will use the Secret Weapon Miniatures crushed glass method.  The concept is very simple, you add the realistic water to the crushed glass, and apply it to the base.

You need to take some care with the crushed glass, because that can be harmful if mishandled.  Wearing some latex gloves and a simple mask would be more than adequate to prevent any issues.

Making the actual mixtures is more by feel than any specific ratio.  More Realistic Water in the mix will create a wetter, more melted snow, while a drier mixture will make a powdery type of coverage.

In step one, I keep both substances far apart on a piece of blister pack.  I have a lot of cheaper craft brushes on hand for this task!  In the second step, I bring more of the glass to the Realistic Water.

Don't take too long with this process, though, because it can dry very rapidly!

Once I have the mix that I want, I start putting blobs on to the base, spreading them out with the brush.  This was an in between kind of mix... not too dry, not too wet.

Keep in mind that it does lighten as it dries.  Also try to pay attention to where you have that snow piling up.  If you have one big blob in one space, and almost none in another, it makes less sense and will curtail the effect.

These are examples of larger blobs that were placed and then pulled flatter to match the surface.  The drier your mix is, the more you will end up with clumps that don't flow and move as easily.

I always try to include a few twigs or something resembling a branch when I am working with the snow, because that adds one more bit of dimension and realism to the scene.  The wetter your mixture is, the easier it will be to apply it to the trees.

Here's a view of all the lads with their snow applied.  Again, the color will lighten as it dries.

Since I have been covered in snow many times after walking just a few blocks to the store in an average snowfall, I placed a slight amount on the equipment, and on the hoods, etc.  Not only are these natural "collection points", they are far away from any source of body heat.

I have been amazed when I discover that my hat or hood is covered in 1-2 inches of snow in such a short time!

I hope you enjoyed this, and that it was useful!  I will now try to do this same effect on something more challenging... vehicles!  Stay tuned...

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Glazing the Germans

I wanted to get into a few step by step articles on the winter German troops to get you through the post Christmas fatigue.  This is still not a pure start to finish article, but for now it will give you a decent idea of how I have been approaching the historical figures.

As I mentioned in the first Heer post, I have been using the Badger airbrush to create the Shaded Basecoat stage of the infantry.  Steps one and two illustrate that, while step 3 shows that more specific colors have been added to areas such as rifle stocks, skin tones, etc.

Stage 4 shows that the overall Shaded Basecoat is complete, and glazing can begin!

This image shows an unglazed figure to the right, while the figure on the left has a few quick glazes and tints.  I guess the best way to describe the glazes to folks who paint more vehicles as a filter, with the darker shading provided by those deeper panel line washes and dark washes.

Once again, a set of figures at the completion of the Shaded Baescoat. 
Just as you would with as vehicle, the colors are lighter than the final result.  

The idea is to allow me to match colors more easily by tinting and glazing, instead of having endless layers of progressively lighter colors.  It takes far less time, and it definitely makes the colors easier to remember.  Simplification is the key!

This figure has those glazes and tints, along with the deeper darks and more details in the middle tones.  That zone between light and dark colors is where I try to create the most interesting and subtle variations.

The first glazes were done on the bases.  Nothing fancy on the colors, but the goal is to set up the snow effects.  This means including some warmer browns and greenish tones to make the snow look "colder".

Some of this glazing is moved up onto the boots and leggings as well, sticking with those warmer tones.  As I mentioned previously, that will make the final snow application seem 'cooler' by comparison.

I am also putting a few glazes on the camo cloaks, helmets and other white surfaces.  This has less to do with making them darker, but adding some interest by tinting them.  Some glazes have more greenish hints, while others are more tan.  Doing so will make the other parts of the uniform and gear stick out less.

For instance, some of the colors of the packs AT weapons and gun stocks are quite warm.  A few hints of tan on the white will make them seem more a part of the figure and less like they were stuck on as an afterthought.

Glazes are placed on the gear next, such as the rifles and other weapons.

This might be a nice view of those pieces of equipment before and after glazing.  Think of it as if you were adding filters or washes to a vehicle!

The insert gives you a closer look at some glazing on the white areas, which is also used on the gloves, and even on the pants and faces.

I have a greenish black glaze set up for the areas of the uniforms that were painted medium to light green.

Finer glazes are applied to the faces and other small detail areas.

Once all the glazing is complete, I like to go back into those mid tone areas (those colors that fall in the middle between the highlights and shadows) and add extra touches of color, or simply clean up glazes that might have left rougher patches.

I also add my brightest highlights.  Having worked on the entire miniature at the same time (instead of one isolated portion), I get a better look at how the figure appears as a whole.  If I only worked on the white sections, any color I painted after that would have looked very dark!

By working on every section equally, I get an overview of how the white looks compared to the base, or the skin, etc.

Final precise details such as the eyes are among the most important!

It looks like these guys are read for some snow!  Stay tuned, because the next episode will take you through the Secret Weapon Miniatures crushed glass technique.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Up close and personal

While I don't suspect this weapon team will take out many tanks, they do offer a reasonable threat to light transports such as soft skinned trucks and open topped Hanomags.

I love my 47mm Anti Tank gun team, and the mobile version mounted on the Laffly, but this is much easier to conceal.  Adding the small team factor, it will probably take 7's to hit them.

I finished the basing on these guys before I had the Mig AMMO mud, so they don't have the splashy mud effects on them.

These smaller weapon teams are a of fun, especially on the oval bases!

The view from above shows a team ready to hunt down those pesky soft skinned vehicles!